IRC warns 1 in 4 children in Beirut risk dropping out of school
BEIRUT: With 163 schools damaged by the Beirut explosion, at least 1 in 4 children in the city are now at risk of missing out on their education, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) warned on Monday.
With the academic year now set to start again in mid-October, the IRC is warning that many factors will put many children at risk of dropping out of the education system over the coming months.
Over 85,000 pupils were registered at the schools damaged by the blasts and it will take up to a year for the most severely damaged buildings to be repaired.
The organization explained that although the Ministry of Education is working to find spaces for children in new schools, the added disruption this will bring to their lives is cause for serious concern, those from damaged schools will have long distances to travel in order to reach their new place of study, as well as additional transport costs - something that poorer families will be unable to afford.
As for the children using public transport, safety and harassment will be major concerns - especially for those traveling to attend a school’s evening shift, and children with disabilities - both pre-existing and those caused by the explosion - will face additional barriers as they navigate public transport to get to schools located far from their homes.
Although school should play an essential role in all children’s recovery, the IRC is warning that without urgent and substantive support, many are at risk of being denied access to this vital support system.